Opinions on PS Audio Direct Stream DAC (Mk 1)

PS Audio is clearing out factory refurbished Direct Stream DACs, the original version from 2014 or 2015, for about $1800. I'm wondering if I could get opinions on this DAC. It's old technology as far as digital goes, but it got nice reviews when it was new. It can do DSD64 and DSD128. It upsamples everything internally to DSD.

I'm interested in musicality and musical involvement, especially dynamics (macro and micro), accuracy of instrumental timbre and extracting the beauty out of the recording, low noise floor and high resolution.


@shooter41 Do you have aftermarket cables on your Hifiman or Focals? I have a very good cable by Igor Kuznetsoff of the NJ Audiophile Society on my Audeze phones. I tried the Focal Clear OG recently but had only the stock cable, and it wasn't anywhere close to the Audeze LCD-X with Igor's cable in resolution and microdynamics. But I suspect it's not a fair comparison until I get an equally good cable.

@magon synergy is key. If it doesn’t gel in your system, move on.
I have zero brightness with this DAC in my setup and have no issues with bass. Mismatched impedance between components can result in what you’re describing. Send it back. 

@shooter41 yep! I turn the screen off on all my components. I was happy to see the PS Audio dac has this option. Safe to keep on. One other thing…I reboot the dac and the streamer about once or twice a week. I also reboot my network biweekly. Just to flush out garbage in memory and buffer and get things running fresh. 

@magon  Yes, I have Black Dragon and Silver Dragon cables. I go with whichever one sounds better with the particular headphones I'm using. Usually, that's the (copper) Black Dragon, but with the Susvara it's the Silver Dragon.

I found the Clear Mg to be preferable to the Og but boy, do we have disparate tastes! My opinion of them vs. the LCD-X is literally the opposite of yours. So much so that I can't imagine the cable making that much of a difference. Maybe explains why we also differ so much on the DAC.

Isn't it great that this "hobby" has so many choices?